Don’t put off buying running shoes that actually work for your foot mechanics. For most people, that means sneakers designed for neutral feet.
“Neutral running shoes are designed for runners who have a neutral stance where the foot is neither excessively pronated (rolling inward in contact with the ground) nor supinated (rolling outward in contact with the ground) “, explains Scott R. Lurie, DPM, founder of Park Avenue Podiatry Associates At New York.
These runners often need shock absorption, cushioning and road feel rather than more support or motion control, says Lurie, noting that there needs to be some kind of middle ground. “While some runners enjoy ‘road feel’ more, I find it’s not the best for the skeletal structure as a whole,” he says.
Yes, there’s the barefoot running school of thought, but he’s not in that camp: “Our body has to find a way to lessen the shock and impact with every kick.” Barefoot running or shoes that mimic that may be what the runner feels comfortable with, but we need to look at the long-term impact on our knees, hips and spine,” Lurie points out, explaining that the repetitive shaking of our skeleton will eventually lead to degenerative arthritic changes in our bones and joints, as well as the potential for stress injuries to muscles, tendons and ligaments.
What are neutral running shoes?
Luckily, it’s possible to find sneakers that strike a balance between barefoot-inspired styles and full-fledged stability sneakers. “As a general rule, neutral shoes are lighter than stability shoes. Typically the midsole will have a lighter color that feels like better response when striking the midfoot,” says ankle surgeon/podiatrist Mark J. Mendeszoon, FACFAS, FACPM, a partner at Precision Orthopedic Specialties Inc in Chardon, Ohio and the owner of Achilles Running Shop in Willoughby, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania.
As Mendeszoon points out, since neutral shoes tend to be narrower in the forefoot, it’s essential to make sure there’s enough room in the toe box so your toes don’t are not cramped and have the ability to move. “Some neutral shoes will have eccentric lacing, so it’s essential that the shoes are laced correctly and not too tight, as this could cause tingling or numbness on the tops of the feet or in the toes,” he says. (The eccentric lacing is where the shoe’s eyelets are staggered and staggered.) Most neutral shoes should be worn by runners who are midfoot or forefoot strikers and not strikers. at the heel, he adds.
In terms of shelf life, Mendeszoon says neutral shoes may tend to break down or wear out a little faster than stability shoes. “So they don’t always last for the typical 500-mile range,” he says.
One last thing: Neutral runners can wear stability shoes to varying degrees, but this needs to be carefully considered as too much control can lead to less shock absorption and create new issues that weren’t there before. Lurie said. If you need more advice on which shoes are right for you or if you could benefit from custom orthotics, see a podiatrist, folks.
8 neutral running shoes for men
These neutral running shoes to help you perform at your best on your next jog or run. And as always, if you’re buying sneakers online, check the return policy to make sure you can return or exchange sneakers if they’re not right for you.
These kicks from On have a name that sticks out your tongue, and they certainly live up to the fluff-running feeling that their title conjures up. Considered the brand’s ideal neutral shoe, these lightweight yet fully cushioned shoes are ideal for all skill levels and running durations. Cloudtec technology helps provide the user with powerful take-offs and a superlight mesh upper fits like a glove. It is also available in a wide fit here.
The UA Flow Velociti Wind 2 is designed to support longer speed, with exceptional responsiveness, energy return and great grip on the sole, so you don’t lose your stride on a rock or a corner of the trail. road. The new shoes also feature a smartly designed upper, called UA Warp, that adapts to your foot at every stage of your stride. Bonus: These sneakers connect to the GPS running tracker UA MapMyRunthat tracks and analyzes your running data to help you improve your performance.
The star of these neutral running shoes is the so-called DNA Loft midsole, which ushers in a smoother, smoother ride. This Ghost model also has an improved fit, so the shoe fits your foot even more comfortably. As Mendeszoon says, this is “a comfortable shoe that offers a slightly wider sole, which may provide a bit more balance/stability when in contact with the ground.” Soft landings and powerful takeoffs, here we come.
Mendeszoon calls them “a terrific, lightweight, neutral shoe that has a fast, responsive feel,” and we wholeheartedly agree. With solid heel support, a great fit, PWRRUN cushioning and more, these trainers may cost a pretty penny, but they’re worth the investment for marathon runners who want the benefits of a carbon plate. For a more affordable neutral running shoe from Saucony, we recommend the Saucony Kinvara 13 ($120; also available in a Wide cut), which also features responsive PWRRUN cushioning, as well as a beveled midsole and contoured midfoot contour for a super comfortable ride.
Mendeszoon loves that these sneakers provide “maximum cushioning and a smooth transition during ground contact.” They can also provide the runner with a bit more shock absorption, he adds. In terms of specs, they have a full EVA midsole, a breathable mesh upper for excellent ventilation, and a beveled heel design for smooth transitions and to extend the life of your shoes.
If you’re looking for a versatile, neutral running trainer, these performance trainers are one of our favorites. First, we like the company’s FootShape design for a more natural fit. Next, we love the Altra EGO midsole foam for superior responsiveness and a smooth experience. Oh, and let’s not forget that the neutral grooves in the InnerFlex midsole help promote supreme flexibility and ease of movement. Remind us why it took us so long to switch to Altra?
These might not be the flashiest shoes made by Nike, but they might be the most reliable for neutral runners looking to put in a lot of miles. This lightweight daily trainer features the brand’s ZoomX foam for an extra zipper, plus Zoom Air cushioning in the forefoot to help make the impact of all those foot strikes a little more comfortable. . To keep your feet from overheating, the upper features strategically placed mesh dots to cool them down.
One of Adidas’ best silhouettes is no slouch for your runs, with a high stack of Boost foam for extra energy return to keep your legs moving. This iteration has a recycled ocean plastic upper, if conservation is your thing.
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